Saturday, October 20, 2007
We were divided into groups of three or four and then we discussed which menu item we would like to make. I decided to make the schnitzel and Mike made the potato pancakes and stuffed the bratwurst meat into the casings. Our table mates made the chocolate cake and the kraut. Because it was too time-consuming, the instructor and classroom volunteers made the rest of the menu items.
My first job was to chop the chicken into small chunks and then flatten each piece. I used the back of my fry pan to give them a good whack, but Mike took over because I wasn't hitting them hard enough. I took over his dish while he smacked my chicken around. Then I had to wait in line behind slow people who delicately dipped their chicken one piece at a time in the flour, egg, and bread crumb mixture. I thought we'd be there all night just for the chicken! I was much quicker as I dumped all my chicken into the flour and then got on with the rest of the process. I was finally able to actually cook my chicken and each piece came out with a lovely golden brown color.
The pots of cooking food gave off an amazing aroma of flavorful foods that we couldn't wait to eat. When it was finally time, we all dug in and the food was amazing. I could easily see myself replicating almost all of the dishes except the bratwurst because I don't have a sausage maker at home. The sweet and saur kraut was delicious and very different because the cranberry, chopped onion, and apple gave it a slightly sweeter taste without the sharp bite of typical sauerkraut. The schnitzel was very tasty and I ate it German-style with squeezed lemon juice on top. The potato pancakes were very good with bits of parsley and onion throughout. The best part was the cake and ice cream. It was a very good night. I'd like to take another class, but it will have to wait as most of their classes through December are already full.
I'm leaving momentarily for the Light the Night walk. It rained hard last night, but it's looking very good weather-wise for tonight. I'm looking forward to the walk and the Hard Times chili afterwards!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
One of my fellow classmates is a doctor and he suggested I call my doctor right away and not wait until morning. Melissa followed me home and I called NIH because I don't know who to contact anymore since I'm not officially a patient anymore. I was interviewed the nurse on-call and she was a little grumpy about whether or not I should go to the ER, but she took my number for the doctor on-call to call me. The doctor on-call interviewed me and said I could wait to go to my primary care physician for a throat culture because he said I didn't sound that terrible on the phone (my breathing was normal and I wasn't having trouble swallowing).
I felt better this morning, but called my doctor anyway and scheduled an appointment for today. Dr. O'Connor took a throat culture (boy, that was fun having a cotton swab shoved down my throat) and the preliminary in-office results were negative for strep throat, but she is sending the other swab out for testing. She didn't think it would be strep, but it could be allergies and a combination of the dust and the pool may have caused a reaction. Since my immune system is weak, any minor cold or allergy will be blown significantly out of proportion. I'm supposed to keep an eye on things and call if I get worse.
Mike also joined me at the doctor's office because his ankle has been swollen for several weeks and he saw an orthopedic doctor on Friday who recommended he get a Lyme disease test just to rule that out. His doctor took x-rays and didn't see anything that could be causing his ankle to swell, but a symptom of Lyme disease could be swollen ankles. Dr. O'Connor wrote orders for his lab work but didn't think it's Lyme disease. She thinks he may have re-aggravated an old injury from years ago and it's just reappearing now. I just hope it goes away soon because he hasn't been able to play volleyball as much. My ankle (from my sprain last week) is still sore, but it's getting better. Mike and I make a great couple right now - two swollen ankles!
Monday, October 15, 2007
It's a two-mile twilight walk during which participants carry illuminated balloons to celebrate and commemorate lives touched by blood cancer (leukemia and lymphomas). Supporters carry red balloons, patients and survivors carry white balloons while gold balloons commemorate lives lost to cancer. Together, they "light the night" and truly brighten the future for millions of patients and their families.
Check in for the Walk begins at 5:30pm, the stage program will start at 6:45pm and the Walk will begin promptly at 7:00pm. I'm meeting the Jaycees and my family at 5:15 in front of the movie theater. If you live close by, you're welcome to join us.
To join my team:
1. Go to the website: http://register.lightthenight.org/LTNRegistration/app
2. Select Join Team
3. Search by Team Name: AM Victory or Team Captain: Janice Erickson (my mom)
To make a donation, go to my website: http://www.active.com/donate/ltnAlexan/2073_Priscilla07
Your support means a lot to me and to many others. Thank you.
Monday, October 8, 2007
It's almost 10pm now and my ankle still hurts - a lot. I've been icing and elevating my leg off and on all day. It's hard to tell how bad it is because my ankles have already been swollen for weeks, although my left ankle is a bit more swollen than my right ankle. I called NIH today anyway and left a message because of the fact that my ankles have been swollen for so long and the bottom of my feet feel numb too. Spraining my ankle today is just icing on the cake.
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
I grabbed dinner with a friend before her volleyball game with Mike. Theresa's mom had breast cancer some time ago and I've met her mom on several occasions. Her mom's having some health problems recently and found a lump in her other breast, in her throat, and in her liver. Theresa's understandably worried and stressed so I wanted to have dinner just to see how she's doing. Theresa asked if I had joined a support group, which I haven't done yet. I met someone who belongs to a breast cancer support group and invited me to join them on their next dinner outing. I asked if it mattered that I didn't have breast cancer, and it doesn't so I may join them. I invited Theresa and her mom to come too. Theresa should also look for a caregivers support group and I'll check through some of my resources to see if I can find her something.
Hearing all of these cancer stories makes me sad. I feel so helpless and I wish there was something I could actually do. For now I will listen to their stories and offer as much comfort as I possibly can. I wish I could do more.